Skype has finally released a new version of Skype (Skype 2.0) that will allow users to make and receive VoIP calls over 3G.
Skype 2.0 also brings near CD-quality sound for Skype-to-Skype calls using wideband audio (SILK codec) to iPhone 3GS and 2nd generation iPod touch.
AT&T had lifted its restrictions on apps consuming extensive 3G bandwidth in January and ever since a flurry of VoIP iPhone apps including Fring, TruPhone and iCall have updated their iPhone app to work over 3G.
David Ponsford of the Skype iPhone team had announced in February that Skype's VoIP over 3G will be coming to the iPhone "real soon".
But since it wasn’t released for quite sometime, it was speculated that an exclusive Verizon-Skype deal could heavily dent the chances of Skype releasing an updated version of their VoIP iPhone application that works over 3G.
Here are some of the enhancements in Skype 2.0:
Call using your 3G connection
Near CD-quality sound for Skype-to-Skype calls using wideband audio (SILK codec) on iPhone 3GS and 2nd generation iPod touch.
Enhanced call quality indicator.
Improved start-up time.
Fast access to the dial pad from iPhone home screen.
However, the controversial part about the update is that the Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G are free only until the end of 2010, after which Skype will be charging a small monthly fee on top of operator charges for data. Initially the free period was until the end of August but Skype seems to have changed it to end of 2010. It’s still not clear the reason for the charge and how much they plan on charging.
Please do tell us how you find the quality of the VoIP calls over 3G and also your thoughts on the monthly charge for making VOiP calls over 3G.
[via Skype Blog]